The economics major begins with a solid core of economic theory and quantitative methods. This preparation includes principles of economics, intermediate macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, quantitative methods and applied regression. Students then elect to take a series of topics courses such as health economics, the economics of race and gender, the history and philosophy of economic thought, as well as environmental economics, labor economics, public finance, law and economics, industrial organization, development economics, monetary economics and a year long series in international economics that includes trade and finance. Faculty also teach special topics inspired by their research on contemporary issues from time to time. Visiting lectures are funded through the Wilson speaker series. Recent guests include Donald Kohn, Governor of the Federal Reserve, Peter Gruber, CEO of Mandalay Pictures, Katherine Reid, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Dr. Morton Kamien, Levy Professor of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University.
Students with a more political and international inclination are urged to consider the International Relations major with economics home department. Classes offered include international political economy, the politics of western Europe, the politics of developing countries and peace studies. Students that have graduate school in mind are steered towards the department’s elective in econometrics and courses in mathematics. Of course, students also have the flexibility to design their own major or double major.
All students must successfully complete a year-long senior independent study thesis. Students work with individual professors, building a strong and cordial advising relationship that lasts a lifetime. Recent topics include a study on the efficiency of Islamic banks in Malaysia, the impact of the South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement on trade, the impact of micro-credit lending on consumption in Bangladesh, discriminatory lending policies in R907 banking, estimating the supply curve for human organs, informal labor market participation in Russia, and studying the efficient market hypothesis using neural networks.